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cull the herd

1. Literally, to separate or remove (and usually kill) inferior animals out of a herd so as to reduce numbers or remove undesirable traits from the group as a whole. We had to quickly cull the herd when it came to light that some cows might be carrying an infectious disease.
2. By extension, to separate or remove people from a larger group. With so many people applying for a limited number of jobs, employers have had to cull the herd by introducing much stricter criteria and a more elaborate application for hiring. Universities have long used standardized test results as a means of culling the herd of applicants they receive each year.
See also: cull, herd

cull (someone or something) out of (something)

To remove someone or something from a group. We were so determined to win the science bowl that we culled everyone who seemed susceptible to stage fright out of the team.
See also: cull, of, out

cull someone or something out of something

 and cull someone or something out
to eliminate someone or something from a group. We will cull the older pigeons out from the flock. They culled out the slower runners from the team.
See also: cull, of, out


n. a socially unacceptable person. This place is so filled with culls! Let’s split.
References in periodicals archive ?
Animal welfare campaigners who have opposed the cull welcomed the withdrawal of support for controlled shooting but said the BVA's ongoing support for cage-trapping and shooting - a more expensive option - was "regrettable".
Amanda Callaghan, aged 47 and her mother Carol, aged 66, both from Kingstanding, said they were outraged by the decision to cull the badgers.
Government ministers and the National Farmers Union claimed the cull would curb the disease but protesters said it would have no effect.
It argued the proposed cull of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire was based on an assertion that at least 70% of the estimated badger population would need to be killed in a given area to have the desired impact.
It is a very good time for David Cameron to reconsider and withdraw from this monstrous cull.
Farmers support a cull but animal welfare campaigners claim scientific evidence, public opinion and financial costs all favour an alternative to the cull.
Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said: "The Government's handling of the badger cull has been incompetent and shambolic.
Obviously, biologists have and will continue the debate over whether to cull "inferior" bucks.
But that's what I got when I wrote to Jonathan Morgan AM for Cardiff North, regarding the proposed cull of badgers in Wales.
But the extent of their involvement in transmitting TB has been the subject of debate - farmers have called for a cull to stop spiralling rates of the disease damaging their livelihoods.
In one bedroom the three older boys had slept In a second, measuring just ten feet by twelve, the Culls had crammed two beds.
The figures suggest the cost to the public of two pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset has been even higher than estimates by anti-cull campaigners.
THE first year of two pilot badger culls cost PS3,350 for every badger killed, official figures show - but campaigners have claimed the true cost was more than PS5,000 for each animal.
FEARS about badgers dying slow, painful deaths during culls are being ignored by ministers, a leading expert has warned.